MDF Panelling Ideas For The Bathroom

Thinking about installing mdf panelling in your bathroom? We have mdf panelling ideas, installation guides and all of the advice you could possibly need to successfully panel your bathroom.

Is Panelling Good For Bathrooms?

Wall Panelling is the perfect way to spruce up your bathroom, providing you use the right product. It’s a clever means of adorning your bathroom walls to give a more elegant aesthetic. You do want to keep in mind that wall panelling is only suitable for walls that won’t come into contact directly with water – i.e don’t put it in your shower. Trust us, that will end badly. 

Can You Use MDF Panelling In A Bathroom?

When it comes to using MDF for bathroom panelling – you’re spoilt for choice. But the most important thing to remember is that you must use MR MDF – aka Moisture Resistant MDF. Standard MDF won’t cut it in the bathroom, or anywhere where there’s high levels of humidity. Now moisture resistant, doesn’t mean waterproof – it just means it has a higher tolerance to moisture. If you splash MR MDF with water – it will be absolutely fine simply wipe it down. Whereas if you splash your standard MDF with water – you’re in for a bad time. Regular MDF and water does not bode well, it will fluff up and distort and ultimately ruin your lovely bathroom panelling. 

Is MDF Good For Wall Panels?

MDF is the go-to material for panelling interior walls. It protects the wall whilst looking gorgeous – what’s not to love? The density of MDF ensures longevity, especially in high traffic areas such as bathrooms and hallways. When primed and painted, MDF panelling is hard to distinguish from traditional wood panelling. MDF is ideal for interior walls that aren’t exposed to humidity e.g kitchens & bathrooms. For these rooms you will need to use MR MDF as mentioned above. MDF is now considerably more popular than wood wall panelling, it’s more cost effective, easier to install and versatile when it comes to the decoration aspect. 

Shaker style bathroom wall panelling from James Mayor

Can You Use Wood Panelling In Your Bathroom?

Yes you can but we would highly recommend using MR MDF instead. Afterall wooden walls that have been exposed to humidity over long periods of time are quite likely to rot. MR MDF is a much better option due to its moisture resistant properties – perfect for humid environments – although not ideal for Saunas (a bit too humid). 

Bathroom Panelling At A Glance

The MDF bathroom panelling trend is sweeping the nation, we have an abundance of beautiful mdf panelling ideas to spruce up any bathroom no matter the size or shape. 

The great thing about panelling is its versatility, it can literally be installed in any interior room you please. It isn’t confined to dining rooms and bedrooms. MDF bathroom panelling is a quick and clever means of transforming your bathroom into a super stylish space. 

Can You Do Bathroom Panelling Yourself?

Believe in yourself, you can do this. But if you find the whole concept completely bewildering – have a little read of our guide on how to install a DIY mdf wall panelling kit to help you switch up those drab bathroom walls with confidence. MDF panelling in the bathroom is really easy to install yourself, mainly because bathrooms are usually the smallest room in the house. However, if you have a bathroom the size of Kensington palace – you can still install bathroom panelling yourself, you’ll just need quite a few wall panels. 

Is Bathroom Panelling A Good Idea?

How can transforming your bathroom into a sophisticated space not be a good idea? Imagine what your friends and family will say when they pop round, how impressed they will be with your interior design prowess. Typically bathroom walls experience a lot of wear and tear, mdf bathroom panelling is a clever means of preventing further damage and hiding any unsightly blemishes. 

Will Bathroom Panelling Make The Room Look Smaller?

Well bathrooms aren’t usually the biggest rooms in the house and if yours is – well you’re probably a mermaid and concerned with more important things than bathroom panelling, climate change perhaps. Now with rooms that are already quite small, you have two options: you can try and keep the space as open as possible using light, neutral tones or you can say ‘to hell with it’ and use those delectable dark shades. We’re not biased – promise.

When it comes to installing mdf bathroom panelling there are a few elements to consider: the height of your bathroom panelling, the amount of natural daylight in your bathroom and the shade of paint you want to use. The height of your panelling will affect the size of the room, if you’re opting for floor to ceiling panelling in your bathroom – keep in mind that it might make it appear smaller. If your bathroom is quite snug, you can panel your walls to around mid-height to open up the space. For bathrooms that don’t receive an average amount of daylight,  using neutral shades will maximise the space. 

It’s all down to personal preference, does it really matter if your bathroom is small? You should be able to decorate your walls as you please without being restrained by dimensions. 

Shaker Bathroom wall panelling
Shaker Bathroom wall panelling as featured by Industville

How Do You Do Bathroom Panelling? 

When it comes to mdf panelling ideas for the bathroom, you’ve got plenty of options. There are oodles of different mdf bathroom panelling styles, designs and placements to choose from. 

To begin, you will need to pick a style and your desired placement for your bathroom project. Think about the aesthetic you are trying to achieve, are you looking to make a bold statement or give your bathroom a more refined appearance? You should consider the placement too, you can cover the entirety of your bathroom wall or simply half.

The next step when panelling your bathroom is to measure the area you wish to panel. This is one of the most important steps, with these dimensions you can then calculate the amount of wall panels you will need. Top tip – always buy more than you need, it’s much more preferable to have leftovers than to be caught short. The easiest way to install mdf bathroom panelling? Buy an mdf wall panelling kit, it will save you heaps of time and there are lots of styles to choose from. 

Your MDF bathroom panelling kit should come with instructions but we’ve put together a handy mdf wall panelling kit installation guide for you, it includes everything you need to know about the bathroom panelling process. 

MDF Panelling Bathroom Styles

If you haven’t guessed by now – we’re die hard wall panelling fans. We are absolutely obsessed with all manner of mdf panelling ideas and designs. So if you’re looking for some serious mdf bathroom panelling inspo, you’re in the right place. 

First and foremost, it all comes down to your personal preferences – from cottagecore to minimalism: panelling complements any aesthetic. There are a plethora of mdf bathroom panelling designs to choose from. Perhaps your passion is contemporary design? Geometric and shaker style panelling work really well with this concept. If you’re a traditionalist at heart, classic wall panels such as Jacobean or Tongue & Groove are the perfect fit. 

The paint and furnishings you choose to accompany your bathroom panelling will see your restroom transformed into a truly stunning space.  

We’ve included some of our favourite mdf panelling ideas to help you pick the right panel style for your bathroom. Here are some of the most popular types of mdf wall panels on the market today. 

Tongue & Groove MDF Panelling 

This panelling style is a classic, when people think of wall panelling it’s often this very design that springs to mind. It’s a popular bathroom panelling choice which echoes back to the Victorian era. This form of panelling is achieved by placing slats alongside each other across the wall, it can span the wall floor to ceiling or be placed up to the midpoint of the wall and capped off with a dado rail. For MDF Bathroom ideas this design is certainly top of the list, it gives a really clean and inviting feel to the room and can be combined with cool shades like stone, cream and if you’re feeling really adventurous Aegean Teal. 

Tongue & Groove bathroom panelling from Next Luxury

Shaker Panelling  

Shaker style wall panels can be identified by evenly spaced rectangular patterns. This simple form of panelling exudes elegance, and as such is super popular in bathrooms right now. You can even extend the panelling to encompass your cabinetry too, the shaker design is often found on cupboards, cabinets and doors. Don’t be alarmed by the simplicity of shaker panelling, once primed and painted it will turn any bathroom into a decadent space. 

You can make it bold and interesting with darker shades or clean and crisp with lighter more neutral tones.

Grey Shaker Style Bathroom Panelling by Greg Penn via Mad about the house

Geometric Wall Panelling 

If contemporary feature walls that pack a punch are right up your street – geometric wall panelling is definitely for you. The newest addition to the wall panelling family, this version has put its own modern twist on traditional wall panels. Geometric wall panelling typically consists of fine strips which are placed on the wall in a geometric pattern – like triangles and lines. These strips can be fixed horizontally, diagonally or vertically – do with them as you wish. It’s an incredibly versatile style and can be used to draw attention to one wall or the entire bathroom. If you’re thinking about modernising your bathroom – give this quirky panelling a go. 

A Geometric Feature Wall Courtesy of Home Talk 

Jacobean Wall Panelling  

This stunning style complements any bathroom, or any room it’s installed in if we’re honest. A firm favourite amongst interior designers and A-list celebrities right now. The design uses strips to form square shapes which resemble a grid when installed. Jacobean panelling ties in really nicely in bathrooms, the symmetry resembles tiling but with a sophisticated flare. The beauty of Jacobean wall panelling in the bathroom is that you can adorn all of your walls or just the one, it’s a bold choice and can be flamboyant or subtle depending on the look you wish to accomplish.

Jacobean bathroom panelling from Houzz

What Colours Can I Use For Bathroom Panelling?

When it comes to painting your mdf bathroom panelling, it’s helpful to have an idea of the overall aesthetic you’re looking to achieve. You aren’t confined to standard bathroom shades, panelling gives texture to the walls and can be complemented with any shade you wish. When picking your palette – make sure you purchase specialist bathroom paint. Standard emulsion won’t cut it in a bathroom due to the humidity, and will simply peel off after a few weeks. If you want to make a bold statement, why not dabble with striking shades like forest green, venetian blue or a deep raspberry. If you prefer a more understated and simple style, this can easily be achieved by using lighter tones. 

Mouldings to create a bespoke shaker-esque style of panelling from Sheer Luxe

How Much Wall Panelling Do I Need For A Bathroom?

Initially you will need to start by measuring the space you will be panelling in your bathroom, the amount of panels you will need relies entirely on the style of panel you have chosen. We recommend sketching a blueprint of the room and using the measurements of your chosen mdf bathroom panelling kit to see how much it will cover. We imagine you may need more than one kit for a medium sized bathroom wall but without knowing the dimensions we can’t provide you with an exact figure – sorry. 

Prime & Paint Your Bathroom Panelling

The key to a flawless paint job when working with mr mdf bathroom panelling is to ensure that you prime your MDF panels before you paint them. You don’t want to ruin your lovely bathroom panelling by forgetting to prime it – that’s a big no no. 

You must always prime your MR MDF wall panelling before you start painting – it’s a non-negotiable. MDF in general is very porous, so if you paint it without a primer it will immediately absorb the paint and large bubbles will form on the surface. If you don’t prime your panels beforehand you’ll end up spending an absolute fortune on paint or even worse have to start again from scratch. Apply two to three coats of primer and let it dry before you begin painting. 

Jacobean panelling Amanda Neilson Interiors

What Type Of Paint Should I Use On My Bathroom Panelling?

Bathroom paint. Regular paint will peel when used in a humid environment – don’t risk it. 

If you’d like a better understanding of the mdf bathroom panelling installation process, take a look at our handy installation guides. Or if you’d like even more bathroom mdf panelling ideas to get your creative juices flowing – check out our Wall Panelling Ideas & Inspo page.